A couple of years ago, I commented how wonderful social media is to stay in touch with people. Some worry they will become recluses in early retirement, but I’ve found the opposite is true. Social media is terrific at what it is designed to do – keep people connected.
Recently, I had a great experience ‘take me back in time’ through social media. When I was growing up we moved every 3-4 years. As you can imagine, I lost track of quite a few friends along the way. Decades went by until social media started facilitating some reconnections.
Through a single Facebook connection from my grade school more than 40 years ago, I was invited to a high school reunion in Michigan in early August. I had chatted with this guy on & off for several years and he was one of the organizers of the event.
I just happened to also be heading to Michigan for a board meeting the following Monday, so the dates lined up pretty well. Not willing to miss the opportunity, my wife and I went to my old ‘hometown’ for what turned out to be a wonderful weekend.
I reconnected with numerous ‘kids’ from my grade school classes and even my favorite 4th Grade teacher! Everyone was so welcoming and I was taken aback when they insisted that I even join their ‘Class of 1984’ photo.
As strange as it may seem, this was just 1 of 3 class reunions I’ve been invited to this year. I have my actual high school reunion coming up in September and a reunion in another city where I lived in Middle School / early High School. We’ll unfortunately be in Europe when these two reunions happen, but again, great connections through social media.
I see social media constantly criticized in the headlines (Old vs new media), but my perceptions match this Pew Research Study on Millennials attitudes toward the platforms: I find them a positive place to stay connected and a good facilitator for offline relationships and continue look forward to the opportunities they help bring about.
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